White men around other races

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  • #10550

    Jeff
    Member

    I’m a white male raised primarily around whites, but I’ve seen and interacted with people of many races. I have no hatred or reason to look down on other races, but when I encounter a group of black, Hispanic or Asian men, I feel somewhat inferior. I worry what they think about me, and I assume they don’t like me or find me annoying. I can never truly express my sense of humor – this may sound petty, but I feel un-hip, like a joke to them. I am the stupid honky to them. Do black or Asian or Hispanic people notice this behavior in white men? Do any whites feel similar?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Jeff, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, Age : 18, City : Edmonton, State : NA Country : Canada, Education level : High School Diploma, Social class : Middle class, 
    #15129

    Mike
    Participant

    You should not worry what others think about you. I have been raised in a predominantly black area, and I sometimes feel strange around white people. I have some of same thoughts around whites as you do around blacks: do they like me, are they scared of me, do they think I’m stupid, etc. It’s not just you. The same thoughts going through your head could be the same thing the other person is thinking. All I can say is just be yourself. Being ‘hip’ does not lie in a person’s race or background. What’s hip to one person can be corny to another person, and vice versa. If you have to change the way you act around somebody just to get them to like you, it’s not worth it.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Mike, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Christian, Age : 21, City : Detroit, State : MI Country : United States, Occupation : Student, Education level : 2 Years of College, 
    #20293

    Mickey M.
    Participant

    That’s just their way of feeling superior. It’s a subtle little way that black and Spanish people practice their own racism. Same way white people might act aloof and snobby; same song, different tune ya know? You probably are the ‘dumb honky’ to them, but don’t ever let yourself think that.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Mickey M., Gender : M, Religion : Catholic, Age : 18, City : Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, State : NY Country : United States, Occupation : Longshoreman, Education level : Less than High School Diploma, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #25559

    Jay-C
    Participant

    The reason you feel like that is that you’re insecure about yourself. Why else would you be thinking these things? Only you should worry about what you think about yourself. I also think you’re insecure about your ethnicity. What kind of white-boy are ‘ya? Is it also because blacks, Hispanics and Asians have some kind of history behind their culture, and you feel you don’t? Look into your culture, see what type of Europeans you’re made of and find out about them, then maybe you’ll feel a little better about yourself when you come into contact with people of other races/ethnicities.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Jay-C, Gender : M, Race : Filipino, Religion : Catholic, Age : 22, City : Orange County, State : CA Country : United States, 
    #29788

    Ci-Ci
    Member

    I am a black woman in her twenties, and in my case, I just like people who are themselves. Don’t feel inferior to anyone; you were born like everyone else, and you are going to die like everyone else. Of course, I can’t speak for all minorites, but I can speak for a small group of people I call my friends, who are all colors. We may not get each others’ jokes all the time, but who does?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Ci-Ci, Gender : F, Race : Black/African American, City : Long Beach, State : CA Country : United States, 
    #31331

    Sammi B.
    Member

    Jeff, I think you need to relax. I think that the majority of folks are struggling to make things happen in their lives and aren’t too concerned with thinking too much about others (most of the time). If you are really worried about how you come off to others, ask a close male friend who’s known you a while what he thinks. Then watch how men of different backgrounds interact with one another and select what behaviors would work for you and model yourself after that, adding your own personal twist. Good luck (you seem all right to me)!

    User Detail :  

    Name : Sammi B., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : New Age/Metaphysical, Age : 35, City : Boston, State : MA Country : United States, Occupation : Office Manager, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #41211

    Justin27067
    Participant

    Do black or Asian or Hispanic people notice this behavior in white men? Yes, I think so. Do any whites feel similar? I do. Even at my best, I never feel completely comfortable around blacks. I often have to remind myself, ‘Relax, it’s only a black guy.’ But at the same time, I don’t think this is mere paranoia. Issues of race are always just below the surface of any interracial encounter, and in the midst of any conversation with a black person, I wonder if it’s possible to have a genuine conversation without addressing race.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Justin27067, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, Age : 26, City : Chicago, State : IL Country : United States, Occupation : file clerk, Social class : Lower middle class, 
    #47020

    Geraldine
    Participant

    My response is in regard to those of your age group. I suspect there may be those who think of you as the ‘stupid honky’ when you come around, but to defeat that stereotype you will have to get to know one or two individuals from the Asian and black communities on a one-to-one basis. Then gradually get to know that person’s friends and build more friends as you go. After several Asians and/or blacks get to know you as an individual and for who you are, you will no longer be the ‘stupid honky.’ You may even get an upgrade to a ‘cool-ass white dude’ whom Asians or blacks will like to have as a friend. It will take effort and open-mindedness. Some of my best friends and co-workers are young, middle-class white men. I had to make the effort to get to know them, and visa versa. Not everyone is going to be open to getting to know you, so don’t take it personally if they call you names, etc. Just go on to the next person. It is well worth the effort.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Geraldine, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Baptist, Age : 43, City : Columbus, State : OH Country : United States, Occupation : Government Worker, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #47420

    I am a black female who goes to a predominantly white college. I see this all the time. But if you act like yourself, they won’t notice your color as much as they notice your personality and who you are. It is when you don’t act like who you really are that people will look at you as the dumb white guy or the guy who is trying to fit in. People can always tell when you are not being real. Relax and don’t think too much. Funny people are appreciated, no matter the color.

    User Detail :  

    Name : J. Akintomide, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Lutheran, Age : 21, City : Jamaica, Queens, State : NY Country : United States, Occupation : Full-time student, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #31055

    JB31122
    Participant

    I am a white male and feel exactly as you do in these situations. I, too, assume (most likely incorrectly) that black people don’t like me or consider me a nuisance. I realize this is ‘racial paranoia’ on my part and an unfair perception, but I can’t help it. I feel like a complete dork when I’m around even one black person. Like you, I would greatly appreciate thoughts on this issue from black, Hispanic and Asians readers.

    User Detail :  

    Name : JB31122, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Christian, City : Augusta, State : GA Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, 
    #35967

    Lucy22622
    Participant

    Justin said: ‘Issues of race are always just below the surface of any interracial encounter, and in the midst of any conversation with a black person, I wonder if it’s possible to have a genuine conversation without addressing race.’ Is this really how a lot of people feel, or are these the feelings of a small number of people? Where I come from, we interact with people from all kinds of backgrounds all the time, and race is rarely a big deal. I grew up in a predominantly Latino area, but there were a lot of whites, Filipinos and Japanese people as well. A lot of people married someone of a different background, so people’s families were fairly mixed. Where I live now, it is a similar situation, except that the area is even more diverse. I work with people every day whose families came from everywhere on the planet. Of course, our differences are important because they are part of who we are, but it is rarely an issue. We have ‘interracial encounters’ all day long. Are the feelings expressed by Justin more common among people who have little or no contact with people of different backgrounds?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Lucy22622, Gender : F, Race : Hispanic/Latino (may be any race), Age : 26, City : San Jose, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Engineer, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #18559

    J.B.
    Member

    The original poster said he FELT like the ‘stupid honky’ (geez, I hate that word). He never said he was called that, nor did he say that minorities do anything to make him feel inferior — he just naturally feels that way around them. To the original poster: No matter who you’re around, be yourself. If you remember nothing else about my message to you, remember this: ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.’ — Eleanor Roosevelt.

    User Detail :  

    Name : J.B., Gender : F, Race : Black/African American, City : Jacksonville, State : FL Country : United States, Occupation : Paralegal, 
    #18137

    Bob
    Member

    Unless you are in a group when you encounter other persons, your response will be on a personal level. Monkies, great apes and humans are all very xenophobic. Anthropologists have encountered a universal distrust among social groups that neighbor or interact with each other. The only way to overcome this barrier is to accept the other individuals as belonging to the same community – global, national, state, city, religious, etc. It’s a two way street requiring mutual agreement. The above explanation might also have some bearing on the American need to persist in the right to bear arms.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Bob, Gender : M, City : Laurel, State : MD Country : United States, 
    #17223

    D.D.
    Member

    hi JB, I, too am from Augusta. I am an African American female and I see your dilemma. I attend the university of ga now and I am surounded bywhite people, so therefore; I have many white friends. They have told me the same thing that you feel now. But they realized that these feelings would go away when they befriended a black person (me). I know that you know at least onenice black person. Maybe for the mean while, you should picture that person in your mind when you are around any African American people. Act ‘normally’, and try not to dwell on the race of the person in front of you. Email me if you have any more questions.

    User Detail :  

    Name : D.D., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Christian, Age : 20, City : Augusta, State : GA Country : United States, Occupation : student, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #23997

    Katdog26814
    Participant

    I think you’re paranoid. These people are probably not even thinking about you. There is one plus to your kind of paranoia. At least you’re not worried that these guys are going to mug or murder you, as your parents’ generation would’ve believed.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Katdog26814, Gender : F, Race : Black/African American, City : Houston, State : TX Country : United States, 
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